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Old 08-12-2009, 06:58 PM   #271
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So I guess the spambot comment was in earnest.

It's okay, I spent a total of three minutes typing up a response. I'll make those minutes up somehow.
North Korea is not an island, it's part of the Korean Peninsula.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:17 PM   #272
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I could care less.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:24 PM   #273
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Obama is the first president ever to do this. The IRS is now going to go after rich people with Swiss bank accounts and has a deal where the Swiss rat them out. I think this is terrible, since they put their money there believing they'd be safe. It should be 'grandfathered' and just stop new ones, though if I got rich I'd want to hide it there too. It's rude to change the rules and then go after them now because some may owe for many years. It's a dirty trick because they were led to believe their accounts were private.
Are you for real??
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:38 PM   #274
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I could care less.
I see what you did there.

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:29 PM   #275
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haha.

I cant believe people dont realize that Stephen Hawkings lives in the UK and receives UK medical treatment.

No, Stephen Hawking lives here:




(he actually doesn't, it's just a crazy inside joke.)
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:41 AM   #276
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Obama is the first president ever to do this. The IRS is now going to go after rich people with Swiss bank accounts and has a deal where the Swiss rat them out. I think this is terrible, since they put their money there believing they'd be safe. It should be 'grandfathered' and just stop new ones, though if I got rich I'd want to hide it there too. It's rude to change the rules and then go after them now because some may owe for many years. It's a dirty trick because they were led to believe their accounts were private.
What's "dirty" is the fact that these people opened them in the first place, with the intent to conceal income. That's tax evasion. And it's been illegal from the start. And these people knew it from the start. For Switzerland to aid in international money laundering, it would make them no better than other shady entities like the Cayman Islands, and it appears that Switzerland is now prepared to be more transparent. That does not change the fact that what these individuals have done from the start has been illegal, in regards to money laundering and tax evasion. Now they're just more likely to get caught.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:16 AM   #277
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It's funny how this had absolutely ZERO to do with my post and the context for which it was made, but any reason to mention the resolutions
This is what you posted:

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You don't invade based on "better safe than sorry", or these people will be happy...
And yes, UN resolutions and the 1991 ceacefire agreement were set up in such a way as to insure the security of the region through strict inspections and specific authorization to use military force in case Saddam failed to cooperate. The whole idea of the resolutions is to insure that Saddam is disarmed and if he fails to cooperate to act BEFORE he can re-arm with significant quantities of WMD.

Further military action against Saddam after the 1991 Gulf War was to be based on his compliance and cooperation, NOT waiting until he invaded Kuwait again, rebuilt WMD stockpiles are launched Ballistic Missiles against other countries.

Do you agree with the statements Bill Clinton made above?
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:32 AM   #278
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Maybe on a governmental level, since we've put in two leaders to our liking, but with the people... not so much. Not to say they hate us for our freedoms, but they don't want us there. We've created more problems than there originally were. Probably because of the leaders we put in that were to our liking.
Thats false. The US military has received the help of the majority of the Iraqi population in helping to roll back the insurgency in Iraq. Its through intelligence on the street from the average person, that has been vital to finding, capturing and killing insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan. You can't have the success that has been seen recently without working well and intensely with the people on the ground.

Most Iraqi's were scared that if Obama won he was going to rapidly withdraw US troops as he stated in 2007. But they have now been reasured because he is following Bush's plan for Iraq.

I don't know how you could claim that the current governments in Iraq and Afghanistan are worse than Saddam and the Taliban.

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No cause that's incredibly specific to Saddam.
Actually it is incredibly specific to Saddam, unless of course your willing to name a leader over the past 30 years that has invaded and attacked four different countries unprovoked just to name a few things.

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I can name you an Asian type leader of a small island in the pacific who has a lil' nickname and tested some short range missiles over some ocean on or around the July 4th holiday. Said individual is communist and really doesn't like the Japanese either.
Wow, a leader that has never launched an unprovoked invasion or an attack on another country has TESTED short range missiles. There are actually multiple leaders around the world that fit that description. Compare that to SADDAM who has actually USED short and medium range ballistic missiles against other countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel.

The United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia all have ballistic missiles and test them, although they usually do so with out violating international resolutions or laws.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:27 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by AnnRKeyintheUSA
Obama is the first president ever to do this. The IRS is now going to go after rich people with Swiss bank accounts and has a deal where the Swiss rat them out. I think this is terrible, since they put their money there believing they'd be safe. It should be 'grandfathered' and just stop new ones, though if I got rich I'd want to hide it there too. It's rude to change the rules and then go after them now because some may owe for many years. It's a dirty trick because they were led to believe their accounts were private.

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Originally Posted by anitram
Are you for real??
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Originally Posted by Melon
What's "dirty" is the fact that these people opened them in the first place, with the intent to conceal income. That's tax evasion. And it's been illegal from the start. And these people knew it from the start. For Switzerland to aid in international money laundering, it would make them no better than other shady entities like the Cayman Islands, and it appears that Switzerland is now prepared to be more transparent. That does not change the fact that what these individuals have done from the start has been illegal, in regards to money laundering and tax evasion. Now they're just more likely to get caught.

Whoah, let's take a step back here guys. Are we saying we are comfortable with private institutions providing customer details to foreign governments merely on the suspicion that they may have committed a crime?
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:29 PM   #280
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Whoah, let's take a step back here guys. Are we saying we are comfortable with private institutions providing customer details to foreign governments merely on the suspicion that they may have committed a crime?
Isn't that the principle behind court subpoenas and extradition treaties?
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:31 PM   #281
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Isn't that the principle behind court subpoenas and extradition treaties?
Extradition? That's a process used in very serious cases like murder, war crime and terrorism. You don't think tax planning, sorry, I mean evasion, is on the same moral level, surely?

In any case, at least with extraditions and subpoenas you have a formal court process rather than a load of behind the scenes dealings.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:42 PM   #282
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Extradition? That's a process used in very serious cases like murder, war crime and terrorism. You don't think tax planning, sorry, I mean evasion, is on the same moral level, surely?

In any case, at least with extraditions and subpoenas you have a formal court process rather than a load of behind the scenes dealings.
We're talking billions of dollars in tax evasion here, not small change. And, I ask, why the "differentiation" arguing that tax evasion is not a "serious crime"? In criminology, there's a strong debate over how "white collar" crimes are either given a slap on the wrist or, in what you seem to advocate, authorities looking the other way, while "blue collar" crimes involve the convicted getting the book thrown at them "to set an example." Tax evasion is a serious crime made worse by the fact that we're dealing with years upon years of premeditated and willful lawbreaking by individuals who can well afford to pay their taxes. Are these not the exact kind of circumstances where a crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?

And, by the way, there was a court hearing, and, like the end result of most court hearings, the judiciary encouraged a behind-the-scenes settlement between UBS, the U.S., and Switzerland, rather than a prolonged court case. Now if you don't like the process, in general, that's another debate, but my point is that none of how this was played out was irregular.
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:48 PM   #283
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We're talking billions of dollars in tax evasion here, not small change.
Yes, but between tens thousands of people, which makes it sound a lot less dramatic. Now, fair enough, it works out at a not insubstantial over $288k per bank account holder, but hidden in the detail there could be a small number of very large accounts distorting the average.

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And, I ask, why the "differentiation" arguing that tax evasion is not a "serious crime"?
Well - and purely for the sake of argument - I think it is entirely possible to argue that tax evasion is a morally correct choice, if the tax evader has the perception, for example, that the taxes will be used to bail out banks, finance foreign invasions, or support the lifestyles of junkies. That perception might even be grounded in a degree of evidence.

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In criminology, there's a strong debate over how "white collar" crimes are either given a slap on the wrist or, in what you seem to advocate, authorities looking the other way, while "blue collar" crimes involve the convicted getting the book thrown at them "to set an example."
But US sentencing policies re white collar crime are extremely severe. I don't know of too many jurisdictions where the penalties for white collar crime are more severe. China, perhaps. I really don't know how it can be argued that, in the US, white collar criminals are given a slap on the wrist.

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authorities looking the other way,
I don't think its a case of authorities looking the other way or not looking the other way, I think its a case of authorities pursuing alleged tax evaders across international borders in a pretty aggressive fashion, at least by historical standards. Are we going to be consistent and allow an Iranian government legal action to sequester assets held by Iranian expats in the US if the Iranian government claims that taxes have not been paid on them at source? To be blunt this case could be seen as a large nation bullying a small one into handing over confidential data - and I don't deny that some of these tax evaders probably deserved to get caught, particularly if the monies were proceeds of crimes other than just tax evasion.

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And, by the way, there was a court hearing, and, like the end result of most court hearings, the judiciary encouraged a behind-the-scenes settlement between UBS, the U.S., and Switzerland, rather than a prolonged court case. Now if you don't like the process, in general, that's another debate, but my point is that none of how this was played out was irregular.
Well, it's true that there were court hearings, but the bank account holders don't seem to have been represented. Even in an extradition case, I assume the subject has the right to be legally represented.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:16 AM   #284
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Whoah, let's take a step back here guys. Are we saying we are comfortable with private institutions providing customer details to foreign governments merely on the suspicion that they may have committed a crime?
These private institutions are not only siphoning funds and thereby eroding the domestic tax base of the aformentioned foreign governments, but they are actually profiting while doing so. We are not simply talking about them being complicit in hiding funds and thus aiding tax evasion; they are charging significant fees (of course still lower than the tax rate would be for the individuals hiding their assets) and as such are active participants in the crime being committed. The fees that are typically associated with these accounts are specifically set at high rates because the Swiss know exactly why the assets are being shielded in their banks.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:16 AM   #285
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The problem is that the people with those accounts were led to believe they'd be safe and now they're being ratted out. If they were doing something 'illegal' or 'wrong' then they should have been notified immediately by the bank they wanted no part of it. Because they let them have their private account, they were endorsing their actions. Those people had a right to feel safe. This is just another example of the arbitrary, over-reaching intrusiveness the government is involved in, and to me it's scary these 'big brother' things are getting more common and tightening up instead of loosening. I see it as a loss of our personal freedoms. Those accounts have always been an option for the rich, and if no one has gone after them until now, it seems very wrong to start after all these years. I mean, if it was such a 'crime' why has it lasted so long? It's not, it's just another way for the government to stick its long nose into your business and let you know you're not safe anywhere.
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